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Flip Flop Fly Ball: An Infographic Baseball Adventure
Flip Flop Fly Ball: An Infographic Baseball Adventure
by Craig Robinson
Hardcover from Bloomsbury USA
Media Published: 2011-
ISBN: 1608192695
How many miles does a baseball team travel in one season?

How tall would A-Rod's annual salary be in pennies?

What does Nolan Ryan have to do with the Supremes and Mariah Carey?

You might never have asked yourself any of these questions, but Craig Robinson's Flip Flop Fly Ball will make you glad to know the answers.

Baseball, almost from the first moment Robinson saw it, was more than a sport. It was history, a nearly infinite ocean of information that begged to be organized. He realized that understanding the game, which he fell in love with as an adult, would never be possible just through watching games and reading articles. He turned his obsession into a dizzyingly entertaining collection of graphics that turned into an Internet sensation.

Out of Robinson's Web site, www.flipflopflyball.com, grew this book, full of all-new, never-before-seen graphics. Flip Flop Fly Ball dives into the game's history, its rivalries and absurdities, its cities and ballparks, and brings them to life through 120 full-color graphics. Statistics-the sport's lingua franca-have never been more fun.

(By the way, the answers: about 26,000 miles, at least if the team in question is the 2008 Kansas City Royals; 3,178 miles; they were the artists atop the Billboard Hot 100 when Ryan first and last appeared in MLB games.)

Craig Robinson is, among other things, an Englishman and a New York Yankees fan with a soft spot for the Colorado Rockies and a man-crush on Ichiro. Last season he played outfield for the Prenzlauer Berg Piranhas in the Berlin Mixed Softball League (.452/.548/.575). His previous books include Atlas, Schmatlas: A Superior Atlas of the World and Fun Fun Fun.

 
Uncle John s Bathroom Reader Vroom!
Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Vroom!
by Bathroom Readers' Institute
Paperback from Portable Press
ISBN: 160710184X
Let the Bathroom Readers' Institute take you on the ultimate road trip! From the first motorized vehicles to the flying cars of tomorrow, you'll race around the world to learn about some great sets of wheels and the men and women who make them go. So strap on your seatbelts it's going to be a fun ride! Read about...
The Batmobile a timeline
The yacht that cost more than some countries' GDP
The stories behind car songs, from why Sammy Hagar couldn't drive 55 to the real Little GTO
The most expensive clunkers in automobile history
The Black Beetle: a New York Central train outfitted with jet engines
Clark Griswold's Wagon Queen Family Truckster" and other famous movie cars
Make your pickup into a Monster Truck!
The real story of the Car Talk guys
Ghost planes and haunted ships
Setting the land speed record
Who were Harley and Davidson?
The legal woes of Abraham Levy, inventor of the dashboard shade
NASCAR's greatest heroes and sorest losers
The origin of crash-test dummies
Driving to work on the moon
 
If You Didn t Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat?: Misadventures in Hunting, Fishing, and the Wilds of Suburbia
If You Didn't Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat?: Misadventures in Hunting, Fishing, and the Wilds of Suburbia
by Bill Heavey
Hardcover from Atlantic Monthly Press

For nearly a decade, Bill Heavey, an outdoorsman marooned in suburbia, has written the "Sportsman's Life" column on the back page of Field & Stream, where he does for hunting and fishing what David Feherty does for golf and Lewis Grizzard did for the South. His work is adored by readers--one proclaims him "the greatest sportswriter who has ever walked the planet," and another recently wrote in to nominate him for president of the United States in 2008--and his peers have recognized his work with two prestigious National Magazine Award nominations. If You Didn't Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat? is the first collection of Heavey's sidesplitting observations on life as a hardcore (but often hapless) outdoorsman. Whether he's hunting cougars in the southwest desert, scheming to make his five-year-old daughter fall in love with fishing, or chronicling his father's slow decline through the lens of the numerous dogs he's owned over seventy-five years, Heavey is a master at blending humor and pathos--and wide-ranging outdoor enthusiasms that run the gamut from elite to ordinary--into a poignant and potent cocktail. Funny, warmhearted, and supremely entertaining, this book is an uproarious addition to the literature of the outdoors.

 
Kerplunk!: Stories
Kerplunk!: Stories
by Patrick F. McManus
Paperback from Simon & Schuster
Media Published: 2008-
ISBN: 0743280504

Patrick F. McManus's gently comic stories about outdoor life have earned him millions of fans worldwide. With Kerplunk!, McManus delivers a collection of folksy, wonderfully wise depictions of country life worthy of Mark Twain.

In these tall tales, McManus and his buddies learn how not to net a fish, why you should never get your hair cut by someone who's mad at you, what to do when a deer wanders into camp but your sleeping bag has frozen shut, and how to avoid bird-dog flatulence.

Traveling the highways and byways of the Pacific Northwest, the delightful backcountry characters of Kerplunk! understand how a life of hunting and fishing -- and its inherent potential for misadventure -- can resonate with larger meaning. McManus's characters know exactly why it costs $500 to make a fly lure that retails for $2; why installing a boat trailer hookup can lead to divorce; and, most important, why you should always listen for the sound of your fishing line hitting the water -- because in life as it is in fishing, you don't know you're in the water until you hear the kerplunk!

These wry, curmudgeonly tales appeal to real outdoorsmen and the armchair variety alike. Often nostalgic, occasionally philosophical, and always funny, the stories in Kerplunk! reaffirm Patrick F. McManus's reputation as an American classic.

 
Who s Your Caddy?: Looping for the Great, Near Great, and Reprobates of Golf
Who's Your Caddy?: Looping for the Great, Near Great, and Reprobates of Golf
by Rick Reilly
Paperback from Broadway Books
Media Published: 2004-
ISBN: 0767917405

Who knows a golfer best? Who's with them every minute of every round, hears their muttering, knows whether they cheat? Their caddies, of course. So sportswriter Rick Reilly figured that he could learn a lot about the players and their game by caddying, even though he had absolutely no idea how to do it. Amazingly, some of the best golfers in the world--including Jack Nicklaus, David Duval, Tom Lehman, John Daly, Jill McGill of the LPGA tour, and Casey Martin--agreed to let Reilly carry their bags at actual PGA and LPGA Tour events. To round out his portrait of the golfing life, Reilly also persuaded Deepak Chopra and Donald Trump to take him on as a caddy, accompanied the four highest-rolling golf hustlers in Las Vegas around the course, and carried the bag for a blind golfer.
In the same inimitable style that makes his back-page column for Sports Illustrated a must-read for more than fifteen million people every week, Reilly combines a wicked wit with an expert's eye in the most original and entertaining look at golf ever.

To really know someone, as the saying goes, you must walk a mile in their shoes. But to really understand a golfer, you've got to work as their caddy. Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly managed to get some very intriguing golfers to let him lug their bag and write what he learned both about the game and the folks who play it. Going hole to hole with them let Reilly know a different side of veterans such as John Daly, David Duval, Tom Lehman, and Jack Nicklaus. But Reilly also went beyond the pros to caddy for Deepak Chopra, Donald Trump, professional gambler Dewey Tomko, and Bob Newhart. In some cases, the portraits that emerge fall directly in line with the popular image but at other times it's just the opposite. Daly is sober but has shifted his addiction to massive amounts of Diet Coke, candy, and marriages; Duval is intensely driven during rounds but surprisingly laid back and friendly off the course; Chopra's inner peace is locked in a mortal battle with the inherent frustrations of golf; and Trump manages to be both an egomaniac and a pretty nice fellow. And although he's on assignment to profile his temporary employers, Reilly emerges as an entertaining figure in his own right as he commits numerous faux pas, breaks taboos, infuriates multiple golfers and caddies, accidentally dumps all of Nicklaus's clubs onto the turf in the middle of a round, and discovers that caddying is tougher than it looks. Reilly walks a nice line with the tone of Who's Your Caddy?: it's reverent to the game without becoming a misty-eyed poetic ode, and it's laugh-out-loud funny without being nasty or low brow. And while golf fans will certainly appreciate it, Who's Your Caddy? is an impressive book for fans of biography in general. --John Moe

 
Men Are Better Than Women
Men Are Better Than Women
by Dick Masterson
Kindle Edition from Gallery Books
Media Published: 2008-
 

Through a process of exhaustive man research he calls "keeping his eyes open," Dick Masterson has compiled a Magnum-size list of the ways men are better than women. It is an infallible compendium of man's greatness, filled with the most egregiously fallacious arguments ever put to words, but with some kind of miraculous, rock-solid man logic dripping like motor oil from every sentence. It is a manifesto more memorable than bullshit like High Fidelity or which Axe baby powder Maxim thinks you should slap on your nuts before clubbing, more chock-full of devastating man quotes than Oscar Wilde with two wangs. Most important, it is the only one of its kind. In Men Are Better Than Women, Dick Masterson dispenses logic from his man mouth into the eyes of his male readers like some kind of mighty mother man eagle with nutrient-rich word vomit. It's a book that makes you feel like driving a train into a dynamite factory and then tearing a telephone book apart with your bare hands, just because that's the way men have always done it.

Masterson's chapters are simple and self-contained, demand no commitments from readers, and have an immediate payoff. Men Are Better Than Women is a dangerous work of satire -- not dangerous in a revolutionary sense, but dangerous in that it walks the razor-thin line between cruelty and absurdity. That line is called hilarious.

Through a process of exhaustive man research he calls "keeping his eyes open," Dick Masterson has compiled a Magnum-size list of the ways men are better than women. It is an infallible compendium of man's greatness, filled with the most egregiously fallacious arguments ever put to words, but with some kind of miraculous, rock-solid man logic dripping like motor oil from every sentence. It is a manifesto more memorable than bullshit like High Fidelity or which Axe baby powder Maxim thinks you should slap on your nuts before clubbing, more chock-full of devastating man quotes than Oscar Wilde with two wangs. Most important, it is the only one of its kind. In Men Are Better Than Women, Dick Masterson dispenses logic from his man mouth into the eyes of his male readers like some kind of mighty mother man eagle with nutrient-rich word vomit. It's a book that makes you feel like driving a train into a dynamite factory and then tearing a telephone book apart with your bare hands, just because that's the way men have always done it.

Masterson's chapters are simple and self-contained, demand no commitments from readers, and have an immediate payoff. Men Are Better Than Women is a dangerous work of satire -- not dangerous in a revolutionary sense, but dangerous in that it walks the razor-thin line between cruelty and absurdity. That line is called hilarious.

 
The Yogi Book
The Yogi Book
by Yogi Berra
Paperback from Workman Publishing Company
ISBN: 0761154434

"It's déjà vu all over again"--only better. The Yogi Book, the New York Times bestseller, now has a fresh new design throughout, new photographs, a career timeline, and all-new appreciations by some of his greatest fans, including Billy Crystal. And it's timed to coincide with the 85th birthday of this American legend who's more beloved than ever.
As for the quotes, well, Yogi Berra's gift for saying the smartest things in the funniest, most memorable ways has made him a legend. Or, as The New Yorker put it, "Hardly anybody would quarrel that . . . Winston Churchill has been replaced by Yogi Berra as the favorite source of quotations." The Yogi Book brings all of his famous quotes together in one place--and even better, gives the story behind them. "It ain't over 'til it's over."--that's Yogi's answer to a reporter when he was managing the Mets in July 1973, and they were nine games out of first place (not only quotable, but prophetic--they won the pennant). "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."--Yogi's comment to Stan Musial and Joe Garagiola about Ruggieri's Restaurant in St. Louis 1959. "It gets late early out there."--Yogi describing how shadows crept across Yankee Stadium's left field during late autumn afternoons.

If the subtitle of this delicious collection of Yogi-isms has you scratching your head, it has done its job as stunningly as Berra used to do his behind the plate at Yankee Stadium. The Hall of Fame MVP catcher for the pinstriped dynasties of the late 1940s through the '50s and into the '60s, Berra was about as quick with his witticisms as he was with his bat and glove. But if his observations hit the heart of the plate, his grammar tended to pop out of left field, hence the creation of a unique mode of malapropism dubbed the Yogi-ism. To truly understand the title, you need to know that not every mot ascribed to Yogi actually emanated from his mouth--they only sounded like they should have. Thus, he really didn't say everything he said, which makes The Yogi Book absolutely necessary (see page 10).

To the things that Yogi did say, The Yogi Book does both service and justice. It gathers the witticisms in a single convenient volume, adds a scrapbook of photos, then lets their progenitor riff, filling in color commentary on what was happening beyond his mind and what was going through it when the famous phrases were dispatched into the public domain. He deservedly takes credit for such immortal pronunciamentos as "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." (page 16); "It's deja vu all over again." (page 30); "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." (page 48); "The future ain't what it used to be." (page 118); "It gets late early out there." (page 64); and "Ninety percent of this game is half mental." (page 69). All, like the sacred texts they happen to be, are appropriately parsed for your edification, as is the greatest Yogi-ism of them all: "It ain't over 'til it's over." (page 121).

 
The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw
The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw
by Patrick F. McManus
Paperback from Holt Paperbacks
ISBN: 0805013407
More witty cautionary tales of outdoor life, by everybody's favorite expert on the subject, Patrick F. McManus.The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw is a delightful treasury of McManus's favorite (mostly outdoor) adventures with friends. His stories explore the human capacity to laugh in the face of misfortune, such as "The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw" (Goombaw is Eddie Muldoon's grandmother) and "The Fried Flies, Please, and Easy on the Garlic," a story of dinner-party adversity:

[CODE] "Martha starts. 'I do hope you won't take offense, Mr. McGinnis, but I view hunters as the lowest form of life, not excluding bacteria and algae.' 'No offense taken,' I reply, glad for an excuse to ignore my vichyssoise, which I view as the lowest form of food, not excluding lichens and boiled beets." [CODE] American humorist Patrick McManus could make being snagged by a fishhook funny, and in fact, he does. In his story "Getting It in the Ear," he writes, "One of the more interesting things that can happen to an angler is to get a barbed hook sunk into his hide. Such is the horror and fascination of the experience that many an angler has contemplated giving up his regular work and hitting the lecture circuit to entertain audiences around the nation with a dramatic rendering of his ordeal." After all, he argues, it's the misery endured that defines the sportsman, not the fish caught or the game shot. McManus's understated, matter-of-fact vignettes--infused with amusing glimpses of life's lesser-known eternal truths-- will make you laugh.

 

 
 
 
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